The Black British Icon billboard on display in Dreamland Park, Margate with its emotive and powerful subject matter, is a collaboration between Victoria Barrow-Williams, Creative Producer of People Dem Collective, Creative Director of Studio Camo, Paul Camo, and the infinitely talented artist, Olivia Twist (handle @yesoliviatwist), an Illustrator, Arts Facilitator and Lecturer from East London with an MA from the Royal College of Art. Her work centres around making arts education more accessible and representative of its local communities, aiming to provide her audience with 'the shock of the familiar' and to trigger greater intergenerational discussion.
The work was commissioned to build on the project ‘Activation 2021,’ which saw PDC visiting schools across Kent to raise awareness of Black History Month; recognising its importance and the need for its inclusion in school curriculums. The billboard platforms Black British icons past and present, solidifying their contribution to British history and serves to educate.
Icons featured are - Actor and new Doctor Who Ncuti Gatwa, Journalist and Activist Claudia Jones, Musician and Actor Little Sims, Our nation's first known Black member of the royal family Queen Charlotte, Artist and Visionary director Sir Steve McQueen, Activist Munroe Bergdorf, Architect Sir David Adjaye OBE, Writer and Abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, Iconic activist and co-founder of UK Black Pride Lady Phyll, Nurse Mary Seacole and Footballer Raheem Sterling.
Victoria Barrow Williams of PDC said. “The piece is essential as it helps in fulfilling our mission to dismantle systemic racism. It highlights the credentials and contributions of black and brown Britain, ensuring it is represented and platformed in positive ways that reinforces its continued impact on British society and culture.”
The billboard is just one example of how PDC and Dreamland, Margate intend to work together in the PDC transitional space and to include in the zine for schools, to enrich Margate, Kent and wider communities, nationally.